Liverpool’s frustrating week continued as Burnley battled hard for a well-deserved 1-1 draw at Anfield on Saturday despite the return of Philippe Coutinho to the starting XI.
Sean Dyche’s side took the lead against the run of play in the 27th minute through Scott Arfield but the hosts responded three minutes later through Mohamed Salah.
Mohamed Salah swivelled to dispatch a shot past goalkeeper Nick Pope three minutes later, but the seemingly inevitable second never arrived for the hosts.
Substitute Dominic Solanke’s instinctive side-foot volley against the bar was as close as the Reds came, as Burnley enjoyed another fruitful away day after an opening-day victory at Chelsea and a draw against Tottenham.
Jurgen Klopp recalled Coutinho to the starting line-up, marking the Brazilian’s return to league action following his transfer request last month amid a series of bids from Barcelona, and the Reds dominated, but goalkeeper Nick Pope played a key part in the visitors’ resilient rear-guard action.
Liverpool continued to dominate possession after the break but Burnley had chances of their own with Ben Mee denied by both Joel Matip and Simon Mignolet.
But the 25-year-old Clarets goalkeeper made outstanding stops to deny Daniel Sturridge and Trent Alexander-Arnold and also clawed the ball away after substitute Dominic Solanke had hit the crossbar from close range.
Missing Sadio Mane?
The suspension of Sadio Mane in the wake of his red card at Manchester City ushered in the return of Philippe Coutinho to Jurgen Klopp’s starting line-up and the Brazilian seemed eager to show his commitment to the cause after an unsettled summer, featuring several offers from Barcelona.
Afforded a deeper role behind the attacking trio of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge, he was as industrious as he was inventive.
Only centre-back Ragnar Klaven recorded more touches than Coutinho despite the attacker being brought off with 11 minutes to go.
Like his team though, his finishing was not good enough to convert pressure into a lead. Too often, Liverpool’s shots were too wayward and from too far out.